Hundred Oaks Farm's mini horse and donkey camp in Myakka teaches kids how to care for the animals while having fun.
Katie Curulla, a 12-year-old camper at Hundred Oaks Farm's mini horse and mini donkey summer camp, used a lead rope to guide Perfection, a brown and white mini horse, to the start of an obstacle July 15.
Curulla took a breath before running with Perfection toward a low jump. Perfection gracefully leaped over the bar.
Curulla, along with nine other campers, learned how to lead the mini horses and donkeys through obstacles as well as how to care for the animals during Hundred Oaks Farm's weeklong summer camp in Myakka.
"I love all the horses," said Curulla, who participated in the camp last year as well. "I like brushing and groom them and spending time with them. It's almost therapeutic sometimes."
After hearing about each animal's different personality, the campers picked the top three they would like to work with during the week. The camp counselors then matched an animal with a camper based off the camper's top three, and the campers "adopt" the animals for a week.
Campers are responsible for chores such as mucking, feeding chickens, and taking care of their adopted mini horse or donkey.
With COVID-19, Maureen Hudson, owner of the farm, said the camp has "taken on a whole new meaning."
"Before (the camp) was more like an outdoor farm animal experience, and this year, it's more giving (campers) some normal and letting them forget about what's going on and all the outside world," Hudson said.